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MRR Radio #1587 • 12/10/17

This week Matt pulls some rarities out of the vault to make the scums and punks drool. Intro song: STENGTE DØRER ...

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MRR Radio #1586 • 12/3/17

On this week's MRR Radio, Rob goes ballistic for late '70s and early '80s Bloodstains punk rock from around the ...

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Maximum Rocknroll #416 • Jan 2018

Another new year, another exciting issue of Maximum Rocknroll! MRR #416, our January 2018 issue, begins with a sad note as we ...

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"Who gives a fuck?"

MRR Radio #1585 • 11/26/17

“[...] Elvis gives them a short speech about the death pangs that humanity must go through in order to reach ...

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MRR Radio #1584 • 11/19/17

Another fuct up Rotten Ron and Horrrible Halitosis Punker Power Hour. Intro song: DRUGCHARGE - Husk Rotten Ron fucks it up so you ...

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Please help out Sarah Kirsch (formerly known as Mike Kirsch)

April 5th, 2012 by


Please help a dear friend, Sarah Kirsch, an important figure and driving force in the ’90s Bay Area punk scene and beyond. She continues to be an important part of our community, our culture, our music scene, and many of our lives.

Even if you don’t recognize this name, you probably know Sarah. She has been a huge part of the punk/radical community for decades as Mike Kirsch (Fuel, Sawhorse, Pinhead Gunpowder, John Henry West, Torches To Rome, Bread And Circuits, Please Inform The Captain This Is A Hijack, Baader Brains, Mothercountry Motherfuckers, etc.). She not too long ago came out as a proud trans-woman, and almost immediately was confronted with these terrible health problems.  Money is badly needed.


Our good friend Sarah Kirsch was diagnosed over summer with Fanconi anemia, a rare genetic disorder that causes leukemia and other cancers. Despite being put through the f’n ringer by chemotherapy, a bone marrow transplant and very long hospital stays, Sarah is staying strong and fighting hard, finally out of the hospital and at home with her amazing partner Jess and loving full-time caregivers and friends, Paul and Ilya.

Aside from the unconditional emotional and physical support Sarah has received from her devoted extended family and friends, donations to date have been enormously helpful in lightening the financial burden of this kind of illness. The demand for supplies not covered by insurance is, however, unending and deepening — from food to cleaning supplies to lotion to kleenex to parking at the hospital… and this is to say nothing of larger caregiving expenses.

It is all adding up and multiple life savings have already been depleted. 

If you’re able and would like to contribute in this way, please check out our WePay account below. There is no donation too small, every $ helps.



***An Important Update and Appeal for Sarah (September 5, 2012) ***

Dear Friends and Family,

We cannot adequately express how grateful we are for the support you have given us through this impossible time. Sarah’s health and spirits have strengthened so much thanks to the emotional and financial support she has received from the community in recent months. We could not have made it this far without you.

Unfortunately, the progression of Sarah’s rare and complicated illness has not followed an ideal path. Her bone marrow—wherein resides Fanconi Anemia, the disease that put her in the hospital and that she continues to fight—has begun to gradually come back, meaning that her body cannot produce blood cells as it should. Although it has only regained 3% of her body’s marrow, according to recent preliminary test results, as compared to 97% percent post-transplant marrow, this small amount is sufficient to cause concern amongst her medical team that more must be done before the transplant can really take effect.

In short, unfortunately, Sarah must now undergo more chemotherapy in the coming months. This chemo will be aimed at suppressing the diseased marrow and allowing the healthy, transplanted marrow to fully take over.

Chemotherapy has always been quite difficult for Sarah, and now seems to be an especially unideal time to undergo such a devastating procedure. Sarah had been starting to gradually return to a more normal routine of life—going outside, spending time alone, even driving and playing some music—and a regimen of chemotherapy means an unwelcome regression to where we were many months ago, when Sarah couldn’t go out to public places or eat at her favorite vegan spots due to her body’s inability to combat infection and the general toll of chemotherapy.

We are reaching out to the community with another call for financial support—for rent, groceries, gas, money to pay for care-giving assistance, co-pays for hospital visits, cleaning supplies, emergency funds, etc. All of these things add up very quickly and make an already impossible situation that much more difficult. Any support you can offer is extremely appreciated and no donation is too small.

The link again: https://www.wepay.com/donations/sarah

Again, Sarah and those close to her are SO THANKFUL for the support that has already come our way. Though all of us (and especially Sarah for the time-being and likely for a significant time to come) can’t reach out to all of you individually who have shown support in so many ways, it is truly inspiring and incredible to receive support and read the messages that so many people have to offer us. Please accept this general THANK YOU and know that you have contributed in a great way to sustain all of us in this time of extreme need.

Sarah’s Friends and Caregiving Team


*UPDATE 5/1/12* (a more recent update appears above the video)

From Sarah’s Support Team:

Wow! It’s almost unbelievable how many people have come out of the woodwork to support Sarah. Our heartfelt thanks to MRR for putting the word out more broadly, as well as to each and every one of you who has given to Sarah’s cause. From the largest donations to the smallest, to even those of you who have just been able to send along much needed and appreciated words of support, you truly don’t know how much this means to Sarah, her family and our caregiving team of friends.

We’d also like to extend a huge thank you to Sarah’s parents, who have been supporting us and her in a tremendous way. Parental help is often taken for granted, so we want to make sure everyone knows how invaluable their assistance has been.

Sarah’s situation is gradually improving, but it’s going to remain a difficult road to recovery, and we’re not out of the woods by a long shot (just over half way through the dreaded 100-day home lockdown for starters). She has just started to do things like take a nightly walk outside, and is even spending some time working on record artwork and starting to play a few notes on her synthesizers and guitar.

The best news has been that preliminary blood tests have shown that the transplant has taken 100%, although a more invasive bone marrow biopsy is required to know for certain.

Unfortunately, though, Sarah still has precious little energy (even on good days), and though she wishes she could write or call many of you to express her thanks and talk to you individually at length, the enormity of fully resuming any kind of contact with anyone beyond the people who are here caring for her is still very daunting.

But to everyone who has been showing support in ways large and small, Sarah says (transcribed by us): “Thanks to everyone — old friends and people I don’t even know… It’s inspiring to see how the community can come together to help someone in need. I wish I could contact everyone individually, people that gave financially or not, but being on so many medications makes it really hard to do anything – like even typing an email is so hard. I apologize to people who I haven’t been able to thank and I want them to know that I’m thinking about them and that all their support gives me strength.”

It’s very hard for us to write an update like this and not be able to enthusiastically report that “We’ve reached our goal!” or anywhere near close, but rather TO RENEW OUR APPEAL at the same time as we give thanks. The reality of the situation is that we are still burning through money like it grows on trees.

Despite all the very VERY generous help of friends, family and others, life savings have been depleted or are still dwindling and budgets are being stretched beyond anything we could have imagined.

If you’ve already given what you can (again, THANK YOU!), maybe pass the word to other friends or help organize a fund raiser. Here is the URL to this post, which is an easy link to send around for context: http://www.maximumrocknroll.com/help-sarah-kirsch/

Benefit shows are already in the works, from the Bay Area to the East Coast to even Amsterdam (last LÄRM gig, May 26th!) and Japan, and multiple people have offered to organize or contribute to auctions of many sorts. So thanks again so much to all of you for taking some initiative or just sending good vibes.


Bombs for the Hungry

March 17th, 2012 by

This just in from the folks at Food Not Bombs…


Dear people of good will, we need your support!

More efforts to ban the sharing of meals with the hungry. Many tens of thousands of Americans are struggling to survive yet we are witnessing a disturbing trend, local governments passing laws restricting the sharing of food. Philadelphia and Houston are the two largest cities to recently propose laws restricting private efforts to help the hungry. Philadelphia announced today that it will attempt to stop people from sharing food with the hungry outside in parks. The city of Houston is considering passing their own law against providing meals to the hungry. While local governments are claiming they are seeking to protect the poor from unsafe food they are not able to point to one case where someone was made ill. Many of those depending on these meals will be forced to eat out of the garbage if the city is able to close these meals. Food Not Bombs provides some of the healthiest meals shared with the hungry. The food is often organic and is always low in salt, sugar and fats.

People are also reporting that local police have stopped them from handing out food to the homeless often claiming that it is illegal suggesting that they could be jailed and fined. I was among 24 people arrested in Orlando, Florida in June 2011 for sharing meals to more than 24 people in violation of that cities large group feeding laws. I was held 17 days on my second arrest. I paid a $1,000 fine for my efforts. Many more people may be arrested and fined for helping the hungry and seeking to find long term solutions to America’s poverty.

We have called for an end to all laws restricting acts of compassion. Our campaign starts on Sunday, April 1, 2012 when volunteers are asked to organize celebrations in support of our right to share food. You are encouraged to organize a celebration and share free food to the hungry in your community on April 1st. Please contact your local media about your event. Endorse the global day of action and email the details of your celebration to

Thank you so much,
Keith McHenry

FOOD IS A RIGHT, NOT A PRIVILEGE – End all efforts to stop people from feeding the hungry.

Save Fresno’s Bel-Tower!

February 9th, 2012 by

We thought we’d pass along this letter from Garth Clifton in Fresno, CA, in hopes that you’ll lend some support and spread the world. Up the punx!

Hello, I am writing this letter to bring to the attention of the worldwide DIY community something that has affected everyone in my hometown’s scene immensely. On Friday February 3rd, 2012, the local venue I volunteer at, The Bel-Tower, in Fresno, California, had one of our largest shows on record: a one-dollar show featuring the best up and coming local bands from all over Central California, called Doll Hair Fest. It was part of a series of shows that was started by two brothers who wanted to bring more people into the local scene and was a huge success that everybody in town was talking about. We produced a video interviewing staff, band members, promoters and show goers as part of a fundraising campaign on IndieGoGo to bring attention to our venue and what we have done for the community. This very same night the Fresno PD showed up with three officers. One was specifically assigned by the Fresno PD to monitor, watch, and make it his life to get the Bel-Tower shut down. After finding no alcohol or illegal activity they resorted to shutting down the show because we do not have any permits or a business license.

The week before, we had been contacted by the Fresno Fire Department about getting inspected to bring our building up to code. The same day we received this news a local musician, promoter and friend was killed in a tragic automobile accident in her hometown of Hanford, just south of Fresno. Her name was Ariel Gieseman and she was only 21 years old. We had scheduled a benefit show for her and now that is in jeopardy as well. She was a huge member of our community and loved the Bel-Tower and like all of us it was a second home to her. This tragedy served to bring everyone in the local scene much closer together.

It seems like it has been one thing after another these past couple of weeks and we have no idea what the future holds. But we have been doing everything we can do to save our home. The venue is on the corner of Belmont Ave and Weber Ave in the southern part of Fresno. This area has been neglected for decades. Around the corner from us is a hotel where child prostitution, drugs, murder and all sorts of illegal and horrific activities have taken place for years and the police have instead turned their attention to a place that has done a positive thing for the community and been a safe place for at-risk youth in our community to go and have a place to express themselves and enjoy the best in local live music. We have hosted touring bands from all corners of the earth and these bands have had nothing but amazing things to say about us and what we do. We are entirely run by members of the local scene and have been in business since October of 2010 without a problem. What started out as a glorified party house that was filled with drugs, alcohol and destruction has grown and changed to become a safe place for everybody to go and watch their favorite bands, touring and local. Since it opened its doors, the Bel Tower has been a catalyst for revitalization of the Belmont area, which politicians have attempted to do with the entire southern part of town for years through attempting to bring in corporate investment and big box stores and other projects which have always been funded by big money and have always failed. Our small hole-in-the-wall punk rock club has done more for this city than millions of dollars that have been wasted on shitty projects that never get off the ground and only serve to line the pockets of the developers who run the city council. The Bel-Tower, along with the two other DIY venues in Fresno, Chinatown Youth Center and CAFE Info Shop have been offering great things for the youth of the southern half of Fresno which has been neglected, mistreated, and in general tormented by the police, city government and big business. We are helping to bring back a forgotten part of our city and you can see it in the streets, you can hear it in the voices of the owners of the surrounding local business owners. The entire town was against us, ask somebody on the street about the Bel-Tower and the response is usually “oh you cant drink there why would anybody want to play there?” or “yeah I’ve heard of that place, its a hole in the wall in a seedy part of town.” Yet nobody who actually goes there ever has a complaint. When they actually see what we are doing here they can see it in the spirits of everybody involved that this is truly a special place. There is a distinct “Bel Tower culture” that permeates every aspect of everybody who spends their time there. There is truly a distinct “Bel Tower sound” that comes through in all of the bands that call this place their home. We love our venue with all our hearts and it is the only place that keeps most of us sober, off the streets or just plain keeps us sane. For me personally it is literally one of the only things keeping me alive and has turned my life around in ways I cannot explain.

We are in danger of losing this place forever and lack the funds and support to become compliant with the city on our own. We have cancelled or moved all of our upcoming shows until further notice and are holding benefit shows at the other DIY venues in Fresno which have shown us considerable support. We have been circulating an online petition for everybody to sign and within one day we got over 350 signatures. Pretty impressive for a venue that holds maximum of 150 people. The petition can be found at: http://www.petitionbuzz.com/petitions/savebeltowerfresno I am urging all MRR readers to go sign it for us, and if anybody has anything they can do to help us, be it sending us new zines for our zine library, cash donations, legal advice, connections to anybody who could help us, or just in general kind words of moral support and encouragement it would be greatly appreciated. The video we have produced can be seen above. We urge everyone who has access to the internet to please share this with everybody you know. We feel like it is truly us against the world. We are in a forgotten part of town in a forgotten region of California that has suffered greater from the economic downturn than any other region in the United States. The Bel Tower is truly all some of us have to call our own. We are reaching out to anybody who can hear our voice.

We at the Bel-Tower say “Bury me on Belmont & Weber,” and we mean that. If this place dies, we die with it. We are fighting this until the last man. Even if they take us out in handcuffs we will return. We just need as much help as we can get and personally, I would like to show to the people of Fresno, who culturally are predisposed to defeatism and being easily discouraged, that we are loved and respected by the DIY punk community worldwide.

R.I.P. Brendon Annesely of Negative Guest List zine

February 3rd, 2012 by

It’s with great sadness that I relay that Brendon Annesely, friend to many of us, and the prolific and twisted voice behind Negative Guest List zine and records, and the band Meat Thump left this plane yesterday. I started typing “left us” but, there could be nothing further from the truth. He was only twenty-two years old, but the mark he has left on our underground DIY culture and on those of us he shared his life with is immense.
They broke the fuckin’ mould.
—Kevin Failure

One year since the KUSF 90.3fm radio shutdown

January 18th, 2012 by

KUSF logo by Gary LaRochelle

January 18, 2012 is one year since the shutdown of San Francisco’s college & community radio station KUSF. At 10 am that morning KUSF’s program director, representatives from the University of San Francisco and armed campus police interrupted DJ Schmeejay while on the air, asked him to leave the studio and turned off the transmitter. It is a horrible silence.

The final five minutes of KUSF

Without knowing what transpired at KUSF, I showed up to do my show at 11:15am (show starts at noon). As I am locking up my bicycle, I am met by fellow DJ and USF student Michelle who can’t even get the words out. USF has sold the station and everyone is getting kicked out. She is followed by Janet and Tresa of the show Love Letters Live who confirm it. Campus police gather in the foyer of USF’s Phelan Hall and I will never enter the station again.

Over the next days, more than a few people would point out to me that no one listens to radio these days. Who  cares? Fortunately these naysayers are a minority. I am reminded of when I was just getting in to punk in 1979, the older kids would tell me that no one listens to that shit any more, punk is dead and all that. I just blew them off because I liked what I was hearing and whether it was dead or not would be determined by me. A similar thing happened in the late ’80s when CDs started to take over. I still buy vinyl to this day. Why should my attitude toward radio’s importance or lack of it be any different? Plus the fact that a corporation would pay $3.75 million dollars for a low-power college radio station makes the situation a bit more intriguing.

As the details of the deal emerge it becomes clearer that a very shady exchange is going on. Media conglomerate Entercom is at the center. As the owner’s of KDFC San Francisco’s classical radio station, they sell that station to a University of Southern California non-profit Classical Public Radio Network. Entercom begins to simulcast KUFX a San Jose classic rock station in San Francisco at KDFC’s 102.1fm. KDFC begins broadcasting on KUSF’s 90.3fm. However KDFC’s programming continues to originate from Entercom’s studios. KUSF’s eclectic programming is silenced. The very thin line between public and corporate interests becomes almost invisible.

90.3 belongs to San Francisco

The former DJs and radio producers under the group Friends of KUSF have petitioned the FCC to deny the sale of 90.3fm. The FCC has begun some unprecedented inquiries into the deal. A year later the sale of KUSF still has not been approved by the FCC. As a comparison it took the FCC almost two years to approve the sale of NBC Universal to Comcast which strangely was approved the day after KUSF was shut down. More importantly USF still has not set up the on-line radio station they promised would be replacing terrestrial KUSF. While waiting for the FCC’s decision, the outed volunteers with the help of New Jersey radio station WFMU have set up KUSF In Exile to continue broadcasting the station’s unique music and cultural programs which include shows in twelve different languages.

To mark the anniversary there is a KUSF Protest at Entercom, 201 3rd St at Howard in SF on Wednesday, January 18 at 10am – the hour the station was shut down.